The Blues have won five of their last six Super Rugby games against the Brumbies (L1), including their last two; they have also won both of their two previous post-season encounters with the Brumbies (1997 Final, 2003 Semi-Final).
The Blues have won eight of their last 10 Super Rugby games at home against the Brumbies (L2), including their last three.
- Leon MacDonald’s side has lost just a single game in Super Rugby since the beginning of the 2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season (W20) – a one-point loss to the Hurricanes in Round 2 of Super Rugby Pacific (33-32) – and has won their last 14 consecutive games.
- The New Zealand outfit has won their last 11 Super Rugby games against Australian opponents and has won three of their four postseason trans-Tasman games; this will be the first time they’ve faced a club from Australia in the finals since 2011 when they faced the NSW Waratahs (Play-Off) and Queensland Reds (Semi-Final).
- The Brumbies won their last away game against a New Zealand team (38-28 v Chiefs – 7 May 2022); they will be aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2013.
- The Brumbies have scored nine tries from mauls, the most by any team in the competition, five more than the Blues (4).
Players to watch
- Pete Samu has made seven line breaks, the second-most of any forward in the competition behind Fraser McReight (Reds – 9).
- Beauden Barrett has scored four tries and assisted four times across his last three Super Rugby Pacific games.
- Folau Fainga’a has scored one try in each of his last four Super Rugby Pacific appearances and he has scored four tries across his two career starts against the Blues.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in the City of Sails.
2.00: No Australian team has won in New Zealand in four years, this will be a tall order.
3.00: TRY! Irae Simone, from the first phase off a scrum, breaks Stephen Perofeta’s tackle and raced away to score. 0-5
4.00: CONVERSION! Noah Lolesio adds the extras. 0-7
6.00: AJ Lam holds up Lolesio to win a scrum inside the Brumbies’ half.
9.00: An eight-phase attack ends with the Blues winning a kickable penalty for Perofeta.
10.00: PENALTY! Perofeta slots the goal. 3-7
13.00: It’s all Brumbies at the moment, the Blues are struggling
16.00: The Brumbies are held up over the line after a sustained attack from a driving maul.
17.00: Tom Hooper hurt his shoulder trying to score, he then knocked on the goal line dropout before being replaced by Luke Reimer.
19.00: Perofeta will take a shot at the goal after Darcy Swain’s mistake at the lineout.
21.00: PENALTY! Perofeta lands another goal. 6-7
22.00: The penalties are beginning to mount against the Aussies, three in four minutes.
23.00: TRY! Hoskins Sotutu swivels his way out of Lolesio’s tackle and over the line. Perofeta’s break and offload to Tom Robinson began the move after Finlay Christie’s kick began the counter-attack. 11-6
24.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 13-7
27.00: The Blues are starting to dominate all the play. Dan McKellar’s men are holding on.
29.00: Another knock-on by the Aussies ends with a Kiwi scrum. That is very bad by Luke Reimer. Nic White looks out of sorts tonight, he and Lolesio. Finals footy is about taking your chances and cutting out silly errors.
32.00: The Blues break from their half to the 22 but Swain interferes but the Blues continue towards the line.
34.00: TRY! Mark Telea finishes off a stunning attack started by Perofeta and Lam. Christie carried forward before Barrett’s offload in the tackle and puts the winger away. 18-7
36.00: CONVERSION! Perofeta adds the extras. 20-7
39.00: The Brumbies are in trouble, they cannot afford to concede any more points before the break.
40.00: MISS! Beauden Barrett’s long-range drop-goal lands on the crossbar and bounces out. White clears.
The halftime score was Blues 20 Brumbies 7
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in Auckland, NZ.
43.00: The Brumbies need to get a score on the board very early or this game is done.
46.00: The Blues are still in control, the Aussies cannot get their game going, especially their lineout and maul.
49.00: Another mistake by the Brumbies in the lineout. Jeez, they have been terrible tonight.
53.00: YELLOW CARD! Kurt Eklund is off for a tip-tackle. 20-7
56.00: Brumbies need to make their extra man count.
58.00: Tom Wright is held up by Perofeta and Telea, but the visitors had an advantage for offside.
59.00: TRY! Lachlan Lonergan flops over the whitewash after the Brumbies finally got their driving maul going. 20-12
60.00: MISS! Lolesio cannot add the extras. 20-12
65.00: Another mistake at the lineout by the Brumbies, but they manage to keep the ball and attack. Time is running out for the visitors, who still need two scores to win this semi-final.
67.00: Lam wins the turnover after the Aussies get isolated at the breakdown. This game is over.
70.00: Sefo Kautai wins his team an important penalty. Lolesio boots to the corner.
72.00: Tom Robinson collapsed the maul, the visitors went through several phases before going to the corner again.
75.00: YELLOW CARD! The visitors win the lineout steal before Adrian Choat went off for a high tackle on Wright, who slipped into the flanker’s tackle. 20-12
77.00: TRY! Another score for the Brumbies’ hooker to set up a thilling final. 20-17
78.00: CONVERSION! Lolesio makes it a one-point ball game. 20-19
80.00: Ofa Tuungafasi charged down Lolesio’s drop-kick to seal the game for the Blues.
The final score is Blues 20 (20) Brumbies 19 (7)
Tries – Sotutu, Telea
Pen – Perofeta (2)
Con – Perofeta (2)
Cards – Eklund (Yellow, 53′), Choat (Yellow, 75′)
Tries – Simone, L. Lonergan (2)
Con – Lolesio (2)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Stu Curran
TMO: Shane McDermott
Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 AJ Lam, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Beauden Barrett (captain), 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Tom Robinson, 4 Josh Goodhue, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Luke Romano, 20 James Tucker, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Tamati Tua, 23 Zarn Sullivan.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Ollie Sapsfor, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valentini, 7 Pete Samu, 6 Tom Hooper, 5 Caderyn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Ryan Lonergan, 23 Hudson Creighton.